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Earth Science - New York Regents January 2008 Exam

This is a test of your knowledge of Earth science. Use that knowledge to answer all the question in this examination. Some questions may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables. The Earth Science Reference Tables are supplied separately. Be certain you have a copy of the 2001 Edition (Revised November 2006) of these reference tables before you begin the examination.
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Part A

Answer all questions in this part.


Directions (1-35): For each statement or question, identify the number of the word or expression that, of those given, best completes the statement or answers the question. Some questions may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.
1. One factor responsible for the strength of gravitational attraction between a planet and the Sun is the
(1) degree of tilt of the planet’s axis
(2) distance between the planet and the Sun
(3) planet’s period of rotation
(4) amount of insolation given off by the Sun
2

2. Which planet is located approximately ten times farther from the Sun than Earth is from the Sun?
(1) Mars
(2) Jupiter
(3) Saturn 
(4) Uranus
3

3. Large craters found on Earth support the hypothesis that impact events have caused
(1) a decrease in the number of earthquakes and an increase in sea level
(2) an increase in solar radiation and a decrease in Earth radiation
(3) the red shift of light from distant stars and the blue shift of light from nearby stars
(4) mass extinctions of life−forms and global climate changes
4


4. What is the inferred age of our solar system, in millions of years?
(1) 544
(2) 1300
(3) 4600 
(4) 10,000
3

5. The water table usually rises when there is
(1) a decrease in the amount of infiltration
(2) a decrease in the amount of surface area covered by vegetation
(3) an increase in the amount of precipitation
(4) an increase in the slope of the land
3

6. What causes the Coriolis effect?
(1) Earth’s tilt on its axis
(2) the spin of Earth on its axis
(3) the orbital motion of the Moon around Earth
(4) the orbital motion of Earth around the Sun
2

7. What is the relative humidity when the dry−bulb temperature is 16°C and the wet−bulb temperature is 14°C?
(1) 90%
(2) 80%
(3) 14% 
(4) 13%
2

8. Which weather instrument is used to measure wind speed?
(1) anemometer
(2) wind vane
(3) psychrometer 
(4) thermometer
1

9.
3

10. The upward movement of air in the atmosphere generally causes the temperature of that air to
(1) decrease and become closer to the dewpoint
(2) decrease and become farther from the dewpoint
(3) increase and become closer to the dewpoint
(4) increase and become farther from the dewpoint
1

11. Which bar graph correctly shows the orbital eccentricity of the planets in our solar system?

1

12. The diagram below shows Earth in its orbit around the Sun. Positions A, B, C, and D represent Earth at the beginning of each season.

At which lettered position of Earth does New York State experience the first day of summer?
(1) A
(2) B
(3) C 
(4) D
3

13. The cross section below shows a house on the shore of Lake Ontario in August.

Under which conditions would the wind shown in the cross section most likely occur?
(1) at 2 a.m., when the air over land is 70°F and the air over the lake is 80°F
(2) at 6 a.m., when the air over land is 70°F and the air over the lake is 70°F
(3) at 2 p.m., when the air over land is 80°F and the air over the lake is 70°F
(4) at 10 p.m., when the air over land is 70°F and the air over the lake is 72°F
3

14. Which type of surface absorbs the greatest amount of electromagnetic energy from the Sun?
(1) smooth, shiny, and light colored
(2) smooth, shiny, and dark colored
(3) rough, dull, and light colored
(4) rough, dull, and dark colored
4

15. Which New York State location is most likely to experience the heaviest winter snowfall when the surface winds are blowing from the west or northwest?
(1) New York City
(2) Binghamton
(3) Oswego 
(4) Plattsburgh
3

16. The largest particles that a stream deposits as it enters a pond are 8 centimeters in diameter. The minimum velocity of the stream is approximately
(1) 100 cm/sec
(2) 200 cm/sec
(3) 300 cm/sec 
(4) 400 cm/sec
2

17. Which ocean current transports warm water away from Earth’s equatorial region?
(1) Brazil Current
(2) Guinea Current
(3) Falkland Current 
(4) California Current
1

18. The data table below shows the density of four different mineral samples.

A student accurately measured the mass of a sample of one of the four minerals to be 294.4 grams and its volume to be 73.6 cm3. Which mineral sample did the student measure?
(1) corundum
(2) galena
(3) hematite 
(4) quartz
1

19. Which mineral has a metallic luster, a black streak, and is an ore iron?
(1) galena
(2) magnetite
(3) pyroxene 
(4) graphite
2

20. The edges of most lithospheric plates are characterized by
(1) reversed magnetic orientation
(2) unusually rapid radioactive decay
(3) frequent volcanic activity
(4) low P−wave and high S−wave velocity
3

21. Compared to Earth’s continental crust, Earth’s oceanic crust is
(1) thinner and more dense
(2) thinner and less dense
(3) thicker and more dense
(4) thicker and less dense
1

22. In which set are the rock drawings labeled with their correct rock types?

4

23. The topographic map below shows a lake and two rivers.

In which direction does each of the rivers flow?
(1) The Sapphire River and the Garnet River both flow east.
(2) The Sapphire River and the Garnet River both flow west.
(3) The Sapphire River flows east and the Garnet River flows west.
(4) The Sapphire River flows west and the Garnet River flows east.
1

24. The map below shows the northern section of the boundary between the Arabian Plate and the African Plate. Arrows show the relative direction of plate motion.

Which type of plate boundary is located at the Jordan Fault?
(1) divergent
(2) subduction
(3) convergent 
(4) transform
4

25. A seismograph station recorded the arrival of the first P−wave at 7:32 p.m. from an earthquake that occurred 4000 kilometers away. What time was it at the station when the earthquake occurred?
(1) 7:20 p.m.
(2) 7:25 p.m.
(3) 7:32 p:m. 
(4) 7:39 p:m.
2

26. Which temperature is inferred to exist in Earth’s plastic mantle?
(1) 2000°C
(2) 3000°C
(3) 5000°C 
(4) 6000°C
1

27. Which statement correctly compares seismic P−waves with seismic S−waves?
(1) P−waves travel faster than S−waves and pass through Earth’s liquid zones.
(2) P−waves travel faster than S−waves and do not pass through Earth’s liquid zones.
(3) P−waves travel slower than S−waves and pass through Earth’s liquid zones.
(4) P−waves travel slower than S−waves and do not pass through Earth’s liquid zones.
1

28. What is the geologic age sequence of the surface bedrock from Ithaca, New York, to Watertown, New York?
(1) Ordovician, Taconic, Cambrian
(2) Ordovician, Tertiary, Pleistocene
(3) Devonian, Silurian, Cambrian
(4) Devonian, Silurian, Ordovician
4

29. A whalebone that originally contained 200 grams of radioactive carbon−14 now contains 25 grams of carbon−14. How many carbon−14 half-lives have passed since this whale was alive?
(1) 1
(2) 2
(3) 3 
(4) 4
3

30. Which geologic event occurred during the same geologic period as the first appearance of modern corals in Earth’s oceans?
(1) Grenville Orogeny
(2) Acadian Orogeny
(3) intrusion of the Palisades Sill
(4) formation of the Catskill Delta
3

31. The presence of eurypterid fossils in New York State bedrock indicates that
(1) eurypterids lived in land environments
(2) eurypterids first appeared on Earth during the Devonian Period
(3) most of New York State was once a mountainous region
(4) areas of New York State were once covered with shallow seas
4

32. Which sequence of New York State index fossils shows the order in which the organisms appeared on Earth?

4

33. The generalized landscape regions of New York State are classified according to
(1) bedrock structure and elevation
(2) bedrock type and index fossils
(3) latitude and longitude 
(4) climate and topography
1

34. Point X is a location on the topographic map below. Elevations are measured in meters.
 
What is a possible elevation, in meters, of point X?
(1) 55
(2) 57
(3) 68 
(4) 70
2

35. The topographic map below shows two hills labeled A and B. The tributary streams labeled X and Y have the same volume of water.

Which statement is best supported by the map?
(1) Hill A is higher than hill B.
(2) Hill B is higher than hill A.
(3) Stream X flows faster than stream Y
(4) Stream Y flows faster than stream X.
4



Part B-1

Answer all questions in this part.


Directions (36-50): For each statement or question, identify the number of the word or expression that, of those given, best completes the statement or answers the question. Some questions may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.
Base your answers to questions 36 and 37 on the map below, which represents an imaginary continent. Locations A and B are on opposite sides of a mountain range on a planet similar to Earth. Location C is on the planet’s equator.


36. Compared to the climate at location A, the climate at location B would most likely be
(1) warmer and more humid
(2) warmer and less humid
(3) cooler and more humid 
(4) cooler and less humid
2

37. Location C most likely experiences
(1) low air pressure and low precipitation
(2) low air pressure and high precipitation
(3) high air pressure and low precipitation
(4) high air pressure and high precipitation
2


Base your answers to questions 38 through 40 on the flowchart below, which shows a general overview of the processes and substances involved in the weathering of rocks at Earth’s surface. Letter X represents an important substance involved in both major types of weathering, labeled A and B on the flowchart. Some weathering processes are defined below the flowchart.


38. Which term best identifies the type of weathering represented by A?
(1) physical
(2) biological
(3) chemical 
(4) glacial
3

39. Which substance is represented by X on both sides of the flowchart?
(1) potassium feldspar
(2) air
(3) hydrochloric acid 
(4) water
4

40. Which weathering process is most common in a hot, dry environment?
(1) abrasion
(2) carbonation
(3) frost action 
(4) hydrolysis
1


Base your answers to questions 41 through 44 on the map below, which shows areas where certain minerals were mined in significant amounts during 1989.


41. In which New York State landscape region was most of the garnet mined?
(1) Catskills  
(2) Adirondack Mountains
(3) Tug Hill Plateau
(4) Erie−Ontario Lowlands
2

42. What is a common use for the mineral that is mined at the southern end of the two largest Finger Lakes?
(1) making talcum powder
(2) vulcanizing rubber
(3) polishing jewelry 
(4) melting ice
4

43. The gypsum deposits in New York State were formed
(1) as a result of volcanic eruptions 
(2) as a result of metamorphism
(3) in a shallow ocean
(4) in a glacial outwash plain
3

44. The mineral wollastonite has a hardness of 4.5 to 5. Which New York State mineral could easily scratch wollastonite?
(1) garnet
(2) halite
(3) talc 
(4) gypsum
1


Base your answers to questions 45 and 46 on the cross section below, which shows an underwater mountain range in the Atlantic Ocean. The oceanic bedrock is composed mainly of basalt. Points X and Y are locations in the bedrock that have been diverging at the same rate. The movement of the North American Plate and Eurasian Plate is shown by the two arrows.


45. Which statements best describe the age and magnetic orientation of the basalts found at locations X and Y?
(1) The basalt at location X is younger than the basalt at location Y. Both locations have the same magnetic orientation.
(2) The basalts at locations X and Y are the same age. Both locations have the same magnetic orientation.
(3) The basalts at locations X and Y are the same age. Location X has normal magnetic orientation and location Y has reversed magnetic orientation.
(4) The basalt at location X is older than the basalt at location Y. Location X has reversed magnetic orientation and location Y has normal magnetic orientation.
2

46. Which cross section best represents the relative locations of Earth’s asthenosphere, rigid mantle, and stiffer mantle? (The cross sections are not drawn to scale.)

1


Base your answers to questions 47 through 50 on the diagram below, which represents the Sun’s apparent paths and the solar noon positions for an observer at 42° N latitude on December 21, September 23, and June 21.


47. In which direction will sunrise occur on June 21?
(1) north of due west
(2) north of due east
(3) south of due west 
(4) south of due east
2

48. How many hours occurred between sunrise and solar noon on September 23?
(1) 6
(2) 8
(3) 12 
(4) 24
1

49. Which diagram best shows the location of Polaris relative to the observer?

3

50. Which graph best shows the altitude of the Sun, as measured by the observer located at 42° N, at various times on December 21?
4



Part B-2

Answer all questions in this part.


Directions (51-65): Record your answers in the spaces provided below. Some questions may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.
Base your answers to questions 51 through 53 on the block diagram below, which shows the landscape features of an area of Earth’s crust. Two sedimentary rock layers, A and B, are labeled in the diagram. The rock symbol for layer B has been omitted.


51. Identify the most abundant mineral in rock layer A. [1]
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— calcite
— CaCO3


52. Describe how the caverns formed in rock layer A. [1]
_______
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— Limestone reacts with acids in groundwater.
— Acids in water cause limestone to dissolve.
— chemical weathering of limestone
— Water flowing through cracks removes limestone.


53. The graph below shows the particle sizes that compose the clastic sedimentary rock in layer B.

In the box below, draw the map symbol from the Earth Science Reference Tables that represents rock layer B. [1]

MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW



Base your answers to questions 54 through 56 on the table below, which lists the location of some earthquakes, their Richter magnitude, and their year of occurrence.


54. What data do scientists use to determine the magnitude of earthquakes without visiting the actual sites? [1]
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— seismic wave recordings
P−waves and S−waves
— seismograms
— damage reports


55. The locations of the earthquakes listed in the table are shown on the map below

Explain how the locations of these earthquakes are related to tectonic plates. [1]
_______
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— They are all located at or near tectonic plate boundaries.
— They are located where crustal plates meet.


56. Identity the process in Earth’s asthenosphere that is inferred to be the cause of tectonic plate motion. [1]
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— convection currents
— convection
— density current



Base your answers to questions 57 through 60 on the diagram below, which shows Earth as viewed from above the North Pole. The nighttime side of Earth has been shaded. The Moon is shown at eight positions in its orbit around Earth. The name of each Moon phase is indicated at each Moon position. The dark portion of each Moon position has not been shaded.


57. On the diagram below, shade the portion of the Moon that is in darkness to show the last quarter phase as viewed from New York State. [1]

MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit if approximately ½ of the Moon is shaded on the right−hand side.

Examples of 1-credit responses:


58. Explain what causes the Moon’s phases when viewed from Earth. [1]
_______
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— Moon phases are caused by the Moon revolving around Earth.
— The Moon traveling around Earth causes the Moon to show a cycle of phases.
— Different amounts of the lighted half of the Moon are seen from Earth.


59. Which Moon phase occurs approximately one week after the New Moon phase? [1]
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for first quarter.


60. Explain why the same side of the Moon always faces Earth. [1]
_______
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— The Moon’s rate of rotation equals the Moon’s rate of revolution.
— The Moon completes one spin on its axis in the same amount of time it takes to complete one orbit around Earth.



61. Complete the table below by identifying the color and classification of the star Procyon B. The data for the Sun have been completed as an example. [1]

MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit if both the color and classification are correct.

Example of a 1-credit response:



Base your answers to questions 62 through 65 on the cross section below which shows a portion of Earth’s crust. Letters A through J represent rock units or geologic structures. The rock units have not been overturned.


62. On the cross section below, draw a circle around the letter of the oldest rock unit shown. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for circling letter I .


63. On the same cross section, place an X to indicate a location where the rock, marble, was formed. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit if the center of the X is located anywhere in the contact metamorphic zone in the limestone layer.

Example of a correct response for questions 62 and 63:


64. Describe one piece of evidence shown in the cross section that suggests rock unit D is younger than rock unit F. [1]
_______
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— There is no contact metamorphism shown in rock unit D.
— Rock unit F was eroded, then rock unit D was formed.
— There is a buried erosional surface between F and D.
— Rock unit D is on top of rock unit F.


65. Explain why rock unit H is not one continuous layer. [1]
_______
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— Rock unit H was displaced by movement along a fault.
— Rock unit H was broken when an earthquake occurred.




Part C

Answer all questions in this part.


Directions (66-84): Record your answers in the spaces provided below. Some questions may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.
Base your answers to questions 66 through 70 on the weather map below. The isobars show air pressures, in millibars. Points A and B indicate locations on the map.


66. On the weather map below, place an X centered on the geographic region that was most likely the source of the mT air mass. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit if the center of the student’s X is located over the water in the diagonally lined area.


67. Calculate the pressure gradient along a straight line between point A and point B on the map. Label your answer with the correct units. [2]
Gradiant = _______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[2] Allow a maximum of 2 credits, allocated as follows:
• Allow 1 credit for any value from 0.016 to 0.018.
• Allow 1 credit for the correct units. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— millibars per kilometer
— mb/km


68. Describe the evidence shown on the map that indicates strong winds were blowing between Miles City and Pierre. [1]
_______
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— The isobars are close together between Miles City and Pierre.
— There is a large pressure gradient between Miles City and Pierre.
— The feathers on the station models indicate strong winds in that area.


69. In the table below, write the names of the cities listed below in sequence from lowest relative humidity to highest relative humidity. [1]
Albuquerque
Chicago
New York City

MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit.


70. Describe the pattern of the surface winds around the center of the low−pressure system (L)[1]
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— inward
— counterclockwise
— counterclockwise and toward the center



Base your answers to questions 71 and 72 on the passage and time zones map shown below.

Time Zones


In 1883, Earth was divided into 24 time zones. The United States (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) has four time zones, which are indicated by different shadings on the map. Each zone is roughly centered on lines of longitude that are l5° apart. These lines are shown as dashed lines on the map. Most locations within a time zone have the same time. This time is called standard time. As you move to the west, the time in each zone is one hour earlier than the previous time zone.

71. When it is 1 am. in New York City, what time is it in Denver? [1]
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for 11 p.m. Do not allow credit for 11 or 11 a.m.


72. Explain, in terms of Earth’s rotation, why the time zones are 15° of longitude apart. [1]
_______
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— Earth rotates at a rate of 15°/hr.
— Earth’s period of rotation is 24 hours.
— Earth spins 360° in 24 hours.



Base your answers to questions 73 and 74 on the data table below which shows the average number of days with thunderstorms that occur over land areas at different latitudes each year.


73. On the grid below, plot, with an X, the average number of days per year a thunderstorm occurs over a land area for each latitude shown on the data table. Connect the centers of the Xs with a line. [1]

MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit if the centers of eight or nine Xs are within the circles shown on the graph and are correctly connected with a line that passes through the circles.

Note: An overlay should be used to rate this graph.

Example of a 1-credit response:


74. State the relationship between latitude and the average number of days each year that thunderstorms occur over a land area. [1]
_______
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— As latitude increases, the number of days with thunderstorms decreases.
— Lower latitudes have more thunderstorms.
— an inverse relationship between latitude and number of days with thunderstorms



Base your answers to questions 75 through 79 on the cross section below, which shows the general pattern of water movement in the water cycle. Letter X represents a water−cycle process.


75. What process of the water cycle is represented by X? [1]
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for evaporation.


76. Describe the process of condensation. [1]
_______
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— Condensation is the phase change from water vapor (gas) to water (liquid).


77. Describe one surface condition that would allow runoff to occur. [1]
_______
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— The soil is saturated.
— Rate of rainfall exceeds the rate of infiltration.
— The ground is frozen.
— The land has a steep slope.


78. Explain one role of plants in the water cycle. [1]
_______
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— Plants release water into the air by transpiration.
— Runoff is slowed by plants, so more infiltration can occur.


79. As the lake surface freezes in the winter, how many calories of heat are released by each gram of water? [1]
_______ calories/gram
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for 80 calories/gram.



Base your answers to questions 80 through 84 on the passage and map below. The map shows a portion of the continent of Antarctica.

Antarctica’s Ice Sheet
The size and shape of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet depends on many factors, including melting and freezing beneath the glacier, the amount of snowfall, snow removal by wind, iceberg formation, and the rate of ice flow. Glacial moraines are found in the Executive Committee Mountains shown on the map. Moraines are located up to 100 meters in elevation above the present ice sheet surface, which indicates that a thicker ice sheet existed 20,000 years ago.
The world’s oceans and climate are influenced by Antarctica’s ice. Even a small increase in sea level from melting glaciers would be a disaster for the nearly two billion people who live near coastal areas.


80. Identify one piece of evidence found on the sides of some Antarctic mountains that indicates that an ice sheet, hundreds of meters thicker than the current ice sheet, existed in the past. [1]
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— moraines
— grooved bedrock
— scratched bedrock
— polished bedrock
— U−shaped valleys


81. What is the duration of insolation on December 21 at McMurdo Station? [1]
_______ hr
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for 24 hours.


82. State the latitude and longitude of Byrd Station. Your answer must include both the units and the compass directions. [1]
latitude: _______
longitude: _______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit if both latitude and longitude are correct.
Latitude: 80° S
Longitude: 120° W


83. Describe the arrangement of sediment found in a glacial moraine. [1]
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not 1imited to:
— unsorted
— mixed
— not in layers


84. Identify one change that would cause a decrease in the size of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. [1]
_______
_______
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— snow removal by wind
— decreased rate of ice flow
— increased melting
— global warming
— iceberg formation
— decreased snowfall



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